Hans Bernd von Haeften

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Hans-Bernd August Gustav von Haeften
Born (1905-12-18)December 18, 1905
Berlin, Germany
Died August 15, 1944(1944-08-15) (aged 38)
Berlin, Germany
Cause of death
Execution by hanging
Occupation Diplomat
Known for German Resistance

Hans-Bernd August Gustav von Haeften (18 December 1905 – 15 August 1944) was a German jurist and member of the German Resistance against Adolf Hitler.


Von Haeften was born in Berlin to Agnes (née von Brauchitsch, a relative of Walther von Brauchitsch) and Hans von Haeften, an army officer and President of the Reichsarchiv. His siblings were Elisabeth and Werner (1908–1944). After studying law, which had led him as an exchange student to Oxford University, he first found himself busy with the Stresemann Foundation, and then in 1933, he joined the Foreign Service. He worked mainly for the cultural-political department of the Foreign Office and as a cultural attaché in Copenhagen, Vienna and Bucharest.

In 1940, von Haeften became the department's leader, but refused to join the Nazi Party. From 1933, he belonged to the Confessing Church. He had contacts with the Kreisau Circle, especially through Ulrich von Hassell and Adam von Trott zu Solz. He refused on religious and moral grounds to have anything to do with any attempt on Adolf Hitler's life, but supported the attempt to overthrow Hitler and stood ready to take power at the Foreign Ministry for the plotters.[citation needed]

In January 1944 he stopped his brother, Werner, from shooting Hitler with a pistol with the argument that this would break the Fifth Commandment.[1]

Von Haeften was arrested on 23 July 1944, three days after the assassination attempt at the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia, for which his brother Werner von Haeften, as Claus von Stauffenberg's adjutant, was summarily shot. On 15 August, von Haeften was brought before the People's Court, where he described Hitler as "a great perpetrator of evil".[2] He was sentenced to death and hanged the same day at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin.


  1. ^ (Hoffman, 1995) p.231
  2. ^ (Fest, 1996) p.326

See also[edit]


  • Fest, Joachim (1996), Plotting Hitler's Death (translation of 'Staatsstreich: Der lange Weg zum 20 Juli'), Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ISBN 0-297-81774-4 
  • von Haeften, Barbara (1997), Nichts Schriftliches von Politik - Hans Bernd von Haeften: Ein Lebensbericht, Munich: C. H. Beck, ISBN 3-406-42614-X 
  • Hoffmann, Peter (1995), Stauffenberg (translation of 'Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg und seine Brüder'), University of Cambridge, ISBN 0-521-45307-0 

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